They’re one of the most divisive festive foods that many families will only eat on Christmas Day, but now experts have revealed six reasons why we should make Brussel Sprouts a regular feature of our diets.
Sprouts are classed as cruciferous vegetables, meaning they’re part of the Brassicaceae family and are cousins of the cabbage, broccoli and kale.
This food family is famed for its anti-inflammatory properties, and can even be linked to decreasing the risk of diabetes – with Sprouts leading the way.
A spokesperson for musclefood said: “Sprouts have earned a bad reputation as a smelly and pointless veg, but this is sometimes due to how they are served.
“Over boiled sprouts not only taste bad but also means all the goodness has been boiled out of them. Try eating them raw or with a bit of bacon to help enhance the flavour.
“Sprouts are packed full of vitamins and nutrients meaning that not only should we be eating them at Christmas, but also all year round.”
Packed full of vitamins and minerals, sprouts are high in fibre which supports gut health and regularity, and also helps to regulate blood sugar and levels and improve cholesterol. They are also a great source of Vitamin C which promotes iron absorption, immune function and tissue repair. And being rich in Vitamin K helps good bone health and blood clotting.
An 80g serving of Brussels sprouts equals just 28 calories. This can be increased or decreased by how they are cooked, with frying them in butter with some bacon adding extra calories to the dish. Shredding them and serving them raw in a salad is one of the best ways to reap all the rewards sprouts have to offer.
3. Fatty Acids
One of the best plant sources of Omega-3 fatty acids an 80g serving of sprouts provides women with 12% of their daily requirement, and men with 8.5%. These fatty acids can reduce insulin resistance, slow cognitive decline and decrease inflammation.
Cruciferous vegetables have anti-inflammatory properties which have been associated with lower levels of inflammatory markers in the blood. As well as this, sprouts are also rich in antioxidants, helping reduce the free radicals which cause inflammation.
Cruciferous vegetables could also decrease the risk of diabetes because they help keep blood sugar levels steady thanks to their high fibre content. This is due to fibre moving slowly through the body, slowing the absorption of sugar into the blood meaning the body doesn’t suffer from an insulin spike.
Sprouts are high in kaempferol, which is an antioxidant that has health boosting properties and has been linked to a reduction in cancer cell growth, improved heart health and inflammation reduction. A recent study showed that when you eat about 300g of sprouts per day, the damage caused to cells by oxidative stress decreased by a massive 28%!